Opinion

Opinion | The Lonely Goalkeeper

[MUSIC PLAYING] [APPLAUSE] Hi there, chaps. My title’s Bob Wilson. Arsenal goalkeeper, Arsenal legend, for those who like. “Wilson main off Liverpool as soon as once more. Bob Wilson Cup. Rock strong as soon as once more.” [CROWD CHEERING] “Oh! And a terrific save by Wilson.” I used to be a nervous goalie. And that was the buildup. The day earlier than I began to get labored up about it. And I went off into this unknown world. By the point the bell went within the dressing room to exit, I used to be a bag of nerves. My abdomen was churning. I’d been to the john 4 occasions. After which I’d go down the tunnel, and I hit daylight — [CROWD CHEERING] — and the 40 … 50 … 80,000 and went, yep, that is what you’ve chosen, boy. That is nice. Soccer is a workforce recreation. It’s 11 gamers gelling collectively, understanding one another. The entire function of a recreation of soccer is to attain objectives. And the one villain within the piece is the bloke between the sticks, the goalie. They’re the one particular person in what’s a workforce recreation. There’s an unbelievable loneliness about it. The opposite 10 guys could make quite a few errors in a recreation. Even the star striker, he can miss 5, six, eight possibilities in a recreation and rating a profitable aim within the 89th minute of a match, and he goes dwelling the hero. “Oh, that was lovely!” On the reverse scenario, you’re placing your self on this place the place for 89 minutes you play brilliantly. And within the 90th minute, you make a positional error, or the ball strikes, swerves and dips. And it appears to be like as if it’s your fault as a result of it simply makes you look a idiot, an absolute whole idiot. And all people behind the aim goes dwelling casting dispersions about your parentage. You recognize you concentrate on it, this skinny tightrope {that a} goalie walks. You’re beneath your crossbar in between your posts, which is an enormous space anyway. Folks don’t notice it’s eight yards extensive, and it’s eight foot excessive. And it’s a chasm! It’s not only a huge space. It’s a chasm! And you’re very able to falling off at any alternative. I feel you’ve got to be completely different. All nice goalies want a determined type of braveness inside their make-up. When all is misplaced, when their defensive boundaries and their buildings and enjoying 4-4-2 or catenaccios, just like the Italians do. When all else fails, these guys in entrance of you, these 10 guys, have to look ‘spherical and say, “The goalie will save us. The large man will save us.” That’s once you’re examined. And that’s why I went head first, hand first, for the sake of profitable a recreation of soccer. It’s immediately that perception in your self. I belong. That’s the final. You’ve got the respect of your entire workforce. And that was my biggest reward, and it’s the best reward any footballer can ever get. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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